If you like football, you’ll know the name Tony Romo. If you don’t, then let me introduce you. Tony Romo is a retired American football player who made his name as a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Since his retirement from the NFL, he’s enjoyed a very profitable second career as a broadcaster. Just how profitable may surprise you. His fortune might not put him in the same league as the Tom Brady’s of the world, but it’s significant enough to make you do a double-take… and to keep Romo in champagne and caviar for the rest of his life. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of money football players earn, or even what kind of income they pull after they retire, then you’re in the right place to find out.
How Much Is Tony Romo’s Net Worth?
How much is Tony Romo worth? A lot, at least if Celebrity Net Worth have been looking at the right figures. According to the latest estimates, Romo is worth the grand total of $70 million. In fairness, it’s a long way from the $200 million fellow former NFL player Tom Brady is sitting on. But it’s still way, way more than most of us could even dream of, and plenty enough to make him the highest-paid sportscaster in the US, at least according to sportscasting.com. Considering we’re talking about a man who never got drafted and who retired from the game over three years ago, that’s a phenomenal achievement. So, how exactly did he do it? To find out, we’ll need to go all the way back to the start.
The Early Years
Romo was born in 1980 in San Diego. When he was a kid, his family relocated to Burlington, Wisconsin. It was there that he first began to get passionate about sport. His first major love was baseball (at one point, he even played for the Little League All-Star team). But at high school, football began to take over as his all-consuming passion. At college, he played for the NCAA Division I-AA Panthers, earning a reputation as a reliable and efficient quarterback. By the time he graduated, he’d earned numerous accolades, including All-America honors and OVC Player of the Year. Encouraged by his success, he decided to make the move into professional football. Despite the fact he didn’t get drafted in 2003, the Dallas Cowboys saw enough potential to sign him as an undrafted rookie. From there, progress was frustratingly slow. A third-choice quarterback, he spent the majority of 2004 and 2005 playing as holder for placekicks. But you can’t keep talent down for long. In 2006, he was picked as a backup for Drew Bledsoe. By the end of the season, he’d led the team to enough wins for the Cowboys to elevate him to starting quarterback and award him a $67.5-million contract extension.
From 2007 onwards, Romo’s career with the Cowboys went from strength to strength. In 2013, he signed a 6-year extension worth a reported $108 million. He broke records (and ribs – Romo was nothing is not accident prone) left, right, and center. As businesswire.com writes, by the time of his retirement in 2017, Romo held records for most games with at least three hundred passing yards, most passing yards, and most passing touchdowns. His passer rating of 97.1 is the fourth-highest in history.
When Romo started his career with the Cowboys back in 2003, he was a lowly undrafted rookie earning just $10,000. But before you bring out the violins, consider his salary by the end of his tenure. According to spotrac.com, Romo made almost $130 million over the course of his NFL career, $40 million more than any other undrafted free agent in NFL history.
The Move to Broadcasting
Almost as soon as Romo laid down his football jersey for the last time, he picked up a mic. And it was clearly a wise move. Within just a few short months of joining CBS Sports as the lead color analyst for NFL broadcasts, he was winning praise for his almost psychic ability to read and predict plays. His connection to the sport was unparalleled among other broadcasters, setting him apart from the crowd and giving him the chance to name his own tune. Until February 2020, Romo was earning a hefty $4 million from CBS annually. In January 2020, rumors started circulating that ESPN had offered Romo a very lucrative deal (a purported $14-15 million per year) to jump ship and join them. In the end, Romo decided to stay put. In February 2020, he signed a new $100 million contract with CBS. The deal breaks down to $17.5 million per year (or $18 million when you factor in the ‘perks’), making him the highest-paid sportscaster by a clean mile.
Romo started getting into endorsement deals in a big way during the early years of his NFL career. One of the most notable came in 2008 when he signed a five-year, $10 million contract with the apparel company Starter. He also represented Panini, Topps, DIRECTV, Pizza Hut, and Under Armour. Since leaving the game, he’s continued to strike up lucrative endorsement deals, most recently with Corona and Sketchers.
If broadcasting ever loses its appeal, Romo would do well to turn his hand to flipping properties. Back in 2008, he bought a modest fixer-upper in Valley Ranch, Irving, TX for just $699,000. Eight years later (and after very extensive renovation and redecoration), he sold the property for a massive $1.05 million, turning quite a neat profit in the process.
Tony Romo may have begun his professional career as a lowly paid, undrafted rookie, but he’s certainly none of those things now. For all his successes on the field, it’s his success in front of the camera that now defines him. Very few NFL players make more money after they retire than they do during their playing career. Romo is the exception. Critics may have questioned how quickly he was offered a job at CBS after his retirement, but they certainly aren’t now. Over the past 3 years, he’s proved he has exactly what it takes to make it in broadcasting. Judging from his $100 million contract, CBS clearly agrees.